Grants will Help Double Capacity of The Excel Center by 2030

Grants will Help Double Capacity of The Excel Center by 2030

Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana announced that it received $4 million in grants from Truist Foundation and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to support the national expansion of The Excel Center, Goodwill’s tuition-free high school for adults. The Excel Center network, administered by Goodwill Education Initiatives, currently operates 41 schools in nine states, plus the District of Columbia, with the goal of expanding to 85 schools by 2030.

“The Excel Center’s unique model is changing the lives of adults who were struggling to move forward professionally due to their lack of a high school diploma,” said Kent A. Kramer, president and CEO of Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. “We recognize that adults have responsibilities outside of the home, and we support them by removing the obstacles that are blocking their paths to success.”

The Excel Center offers flexible scheduling and a fast-paced, rigorous curriculum. Free on-site child care and transportation assistance are available to students, along with other services that are individualized on a case-by-case basis. The Excel Center also helps students prepare for life after high school by offering college credits and industry-recognized certification courses — all at no cost.

“Truist Foundation invests in transformative ideas and proven solutions — and The Excel Center has the data to show that this unique learning environment works,” said Lynette Bell, president of Truist Foundation. “We are pleased to help increase the number of communities where this free learning opportunity will exist and believe it will provide a critical step in building a pathway for people across the country to thrive.”

Grant funds will support the multiyear process that Goodwill Education Initiatives undertakes when opening an Excel Center, which involves assessing the feasibility of licensing, launching, and sustaining schools; working with community and state-level leaders to promote and develop the Excel Center model; assisting with the planning and development of a curriculum and adherence to other local requirements; and providing direct training, on-site support and consultation during implementation, as well as continuing support.

The schools in operation today illustrate what can be achieved when resources align with needs.

“The Excel Center supports adults in earning the education and credentials they need to secure a good job and build a career,” said Marci Hunn, senior program director at the Weinberg Foundation, who leads grantmaking focused on employment and training. “We are excited to see this strong program expand to more places, enabling more people to access better economic opportunities for themselves and their families.”

Since 2010, The Excel Center has helped more than 13,000 adults earn their high school diploma. Graduates have also earned more than 8,000 industry-recognized certifications and more than 12,000 dual college credits.

“For more than a decade, The Excel Center has been helping families change their economic trajectory,” said Betsy K. Delgado, senior vice president and chief mission and education officer at Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. “We’re excited to see the momentum building across the country for Goodwill’s evidence-based model of education. We are thankful to the Truist and Weinberg foundations for bringing Excel Centers to more communities and putting more diplomas into the hands of adult learners.”

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